Mexico Internet Research Project

March 29, 2011 · Posted in Mexico, Middle School Spanish, SPANISH CLASS NOW · Comment 

Mexico Research on the Internet

Sometimes just diving in to Spanish and sifting through it teaches you best. Reading in Spanish on the Spanish language Internet is a vital skill, and like anything else, the more you do it the better you get at it.

Print out this handout on Mexico. Mexico Internet Research Points.   You then need to change the language preferences on Google to include español. Search for each topic and write down what you have found in SPANISH.

Now, here is a quiz or basic assessmentÑ  Mexico Internet Research Questions . Students formulated their own Spanish questions based on the Research Project. Formulating and asking QUESTIONS is a vital skill.

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Día de los Muertos- Day of the Dead Vocabulary

October 4, 2010 · Posted in Hispanic Culture, Mexican Culture, Mexico, Spanish Vocabulary · Comment 

DAY OF THE DEAD ACTIVITIES & MATERIALS. CLICK HERE

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is almost here.  Sound creepy?  Well, it’s not.  Some Americans, or really many people, mistakenly think that Día de los Muertos is a Mexican Halloween.  It’s not.  No lo es.

Día de los Muertos is the opposite of morbid and macabre.  It’s a spectacular, colorful, happy, but respectful time to honor loved ones who have passed away. Think Memorial Day to the thousandth power.

History of Día de Muertos

Día de Muertos is celebrated on November first and second.  When the Spaniards arrived in Mexico in the 1500’s, they came upon the native peoples, the Aztecs as one group, celebrating their dearly departed and the after life itself in August.  As the Spanish Roman Catholic missionaries made headway in Mexico, they combined the native memorial celebration with their own All Saints’ Day.  The dates for Día de Muertos evolved into the first two days of November.

Celebrations, Imagery, & Symbols

Mexicans have an ingenious way of combining symbols and adding a distinct humor to the heavy concept of death, or La Muerte. La Muerte is both personified and humorized into the dancing, laughing skeletons. The colors used on decorations, pastries, and candles are bright and contrasting.  Here is a little vocabulary.

Da de Muertos Vocabulary

  • death= la Muerte
  • candle= la vela
  • bread of the dead= el pan de muerto
  • candied skull= la calavera
  • decorative crepe paper hangings= papel picado
  • decorative memorial= la ofrenda

Free Spanish 5 de Mayo Activities

El Cinco de Mayo is almost here!  ¡Viva México!  ¡Viva Juárez!  Who was Juárez?  Benito Juárez was the Zapotec Indian general who lead the Mexican troops to victory.   Celebrate the vital Mexican victory of the Battle of Puebla with Spanish speakers and learners.

Click Cinco de Mayo Activities for a free set of Cinco de Mayo handouts.

Click Cinco de Mayo Vocabulary for a free podcast for Cinco de Mayo.

Free Spanish App!

Now you can get all of the vocabulary, conversational phrases, and content from speakspanisheveryday.com in a FREE APP for your itouch, ipod, iphone, or ipad!  So much Spanish information now at your fingertips.  click APP to download it from itunes for free.

  • Instant Spanish ideas, content, games, activities, and more!
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Cinco de Mayo- The Battle of Puebla for Spanish I

Isn’t it time that everyone learns about the real reason Cinco de Mayo is celebrated?  Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, the Sixteenth of September is.  Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of the Mexican forces over the French army at the Battle of Puebla.  It was a major turning point in the fight for Mexican independence that went on for five more years.

Here are the movers and shakers of 19th century Mexican history and Cinco de Mayo

  • Benito Juárez: The popular Mexican President of the Mexican Republic who inspired Mexican Independence from European domination.  Juárez was a Zapotec Indian.
  • Ignacio Zaragoza:  The Mexican general who won the Battle of Puebla.
  • Emperor Maximillian:  The puppet of the French government who was placed as the Mexican Emporer
  • Empress Carlota:  Maximilian’s wife

See Cinco de Mayo for Spanish I.

Spanish Day of the Dead- Free Spanish Vocabulary

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is almost here.  Sound creepy?  Well, it’s not.  Some Americans, or really many people, mistakenly think that Día de los Muertos is a Mexican Halloween.  It’s not.  No lo es.

Día de los Muertos is the opposite of morbid and macabre.  It’s a spectacular, colorful, happy, but respectful time to honor loved ones who have passed away. Think Memorial Day to the thousandth power.

History of Día de Muertos

Día de Muertos is celebrated on November first and second.  When the Spaniards arrived in Mexico in the 1500′s, they came upon the native peoples, the Aztecs as one group, celebrating their dearly departed and the after life itself in August.  As the Spanish Roman Catholic missionaries made headway in Mexico, they combined the native memorial celebration with their own All Saints’ Day.  The dates for Día de Muertos evolved into the first two days of November.

Celebrations, Imagery, & Symbols

Mexicans have an ingenious way of combining symbols and adding a distinct humor to the heavy concept of death, or La Muerte. La Muerte is both personified and humorized into the dancing, laughing skeletons. The colors used on decorations, pastries, and candles are bright and contrasting.  Here is a little vocabulary.

Día de Muertos Vocabulary

  • death= la Muerte
  • candle= la vela
  • bread of the dead= el pan de muerto
  • candied skull= la calavera
  • decorative crepe paper hangings= papel picado
  • decorative memorial= la ofrenda
  • parade= el desfile

Read more description and detail about Day of the Dead and learn and practice basic Spanish within the context of Día de Muertos

Cinco De Mayo for Spanish Learners

May 2, 2009 · Posted in Hispanic Culture, Mexican Culture, Mexico · 1 Comment 
La Bandera de México

La Bandera de México

CONVERSATIONAL Q & A OF THE DAY

¿Cuándo es el cinco de mayo?

Es el martes en 2009.

Most people who do not live in or near Mexico think that cinco de mayo is Mexican Indpendence Day. Well, it’s not- no lo es.  Cinco de mayo commemorates a unique and inspiring even in late 19 century Mexican history.  It’s more about what cinco de mayo represents that anything else: unity and patriotism.

Cinco de Mayo: the Battle of Puebla

On May 5th, 1862 The Mexican army under General Zaragosa was faced with the well trained, tricked out French troops sent to  support the current rulers of Mexico.  They were King Maximilian and his wife Queen Carlota who were puppets of France’s Napoleaon III.  Napolean III was sure of a victory which would make Mexico essentially dependent on France, almost as a colony.

The Mexican army thought fast. Mexico’s horsemen and cavalry were superb, and they knew the terrain in Puebla, Mexico beyond well.  When the French ordered their troops to chase Mexican Colonel Diaz’s cavalry, they sent their soldiers to their death.  Mexico out-rode, our chased, and out faught the French to win the Battle of Puebla, or la Battalla de Puebla.

Unity & Patriotism

Cinco de Mayo honors the victory of the Mexican army over the most elite army of Europe, the French.  The unity of the many indigenous groups and the energy of the young country came to vanquish the establishment French.  It’s a day for celebrating Mexican culture, the diversity of Mexico’s native peoples, and the drive of the Mexican army.

Teaching & Learning Ideas & Activities

A national holiday is the best way to bring several aspects of Spanish into the learning experience: language, culture (food, music, art) and one of our favorites, geography. So many tangential units can come form Cinco de Mayo: the history of Mexico, the French in Mexico, French cultural influences there, and most importantly the vast indigenous cultures of Mexico.

For a lesson for Spanish Students Click Here.

For a lesson for Beginning Spanish Students or Young Learners Click Here.

For activities for preschoolers click here

Link to Great 5 de Mayo crafts

Mexican Snack: Una Quesadilla

It’s always a good time of year to snack!  The best, or some of the best snacks, or meriendas, are Mexican.  The ingenious quesadilla is perfect.

The quesadilla (Keh-Sah-deeyah) is a staple of Mexican meals and snacks.  There are countless types of quesadillas depending on personal tastes, family recipes, and most importantly the region of Mexico.  A quesadilla can be a familiar combination of flour tortillas and Monterrey jack cheese in the northern, border area of Mexico, or it can be a hubcap-sized tlaluda with special cheese and poblano chiles from Oaxaca in southern Mexico.
A quesadilla is a blank canvas. It usually consisits of a tortilla, shortening, and cheese, but the possibilities for adding to it are endless, and encouraged.
The quesadilla can be eaten for breakfast, el desayuno, or for a snack, a merienda. The protein of the cheese and the carbohydrate of the tortilla are both filling and balancing.

Try to make Spanish sentences with the vocabulary and verbs below about making quesadillas.

VOCABULARIO de cocinar

  • La tortilla
  • La estufa    The stove
  • El queso    The cheese
  • La mantequilla    The butter
  • La margarina    The margarine
  • El sartén    The frying pan
  • La espátula    The spatula
  • El cuchillo    The knife

VERBOS TO USE WHILE YOU MAKE QUESADILLAS- They’re all in the I or Yo form

  • prendo= I turn on (the blender)
  • corto= I cut
  • unto= I spread (butter)
  • pongo= I put
  • doblo= I fold
  • volteo= I turn over
  • saco= I take out
  • organizo= I organize

Check  back tomorrow for a simple recipe in Spanish with some activities.

Spanish Speaking Culture: the History of Chocolate

Haciendo Chocolate Caliente en México.

See the Spanish video above from Mexican chocolate manufacturer Mayordomo of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Divine is my synonym for chocolate! Most of the world loves chocolate in its now myriad of forms, and most of us don’t think about where chocolate came from.  It’s just one of the wonderful, ubiquitous things that IS.

Chocolate, or cho-coh-lah-teh as we say, comes from Mexico! Learning Spanish is also learning about Spanish speaking culture, and here are the basics about some ancient Mexican culture.  An excellent way to learn about Spanish speaking culture is to learn about it in Spanish, or en espaol.

THE HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE FOR SPANISH LEARNERS.  CLICK HERE.

DATOS INTERESTANTES/INTERESTING FACTS

  • El tribu de los Olmecas llevaron el cacao a México antes de Cristo. The tribe of the Olmecas brought cocoa to Mexico before Christ, or Before the Common Era.
  • Los Aztecas bebieron el cacao como una bebida muy amarga.  The Aztecs drank cocoa as a bitter beverage.
  • El explorador Hernán Cortés llevó el cacao a España. The explorer Hernan Cortez brought cocoa to Spain.
  • Los españoles añadieron aúzcar y canela al chocolate. The Spaniards added sugar and cinammon to chocolate.

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